Usually around this time of year, we begin our annual reflections and think on how we can improve ourselves in the New Year. Maybe you’ve decided to take a year off of resolutions, or maybe you’ve decided 2021 is time for you to really show off your best self. Either way, here are some tips to stick with your musical journey.
Set a realistic Goal – Be realistic about your musical goals, and be kind to yourself when reaching for them. We have a wonderful program called Musical Ladder, which is a student tailored program that helps measure personal progress and provides clear goals for students while practicing. For adults returning to music, think about what you want to accomplish with lessons. Do you want to learn that one song you always wished you could play? Entertain family or friends? Or even tackle tough repertoire you never thought you’d get to?
Find your why? – While setting goals are a great way to focus, they don’t mean anything unless you follow through. Identity your motivation, the reason why you made your goals to begin with. When you have a driving force behind you goals, not only are you more likely to stick with them, but you’re also more likely to achieve the goals you set. Talk about a gratification!
Tell your friends – Maybe you’re perfectly fine not following through with yourself, but you’d rather not let your gramma know you haven’t been practicing etudes with vigor. Telling other people about your musical goals is a great way to be held accountable. Music provides such a vibrant and supportive community, but with many people staying at home and live performances cancelled, it can be very isolating to play music by yourself. Hold a small zoom concert with your friends and family to show them everything you’ve learned.
Create Structure – If you’ve ever tried to teach yourself something on your own, I’m sure you’ve realized how difficult it can be. Having external guidance can make the difference between quitting on your goals and seeing them through to the end. While it might be fun to pluck along to Youtube videos, you can learn so much more and so much faster by taking music lessons. There’s guidance from a professional on your instrument, and (here it is again) realistic goals for each practice session. Lessons take the guess work out of learning.
Every day – This last tip may seem basic, but it is by far the most important. Play your instrument every day. It’s easy become laden with guilt because you didn’t practice, or you didn’t practice enough. Even professionals are plagued with these feelings. What’s most important is you show up, even when it’s only halfway. Practicing 5 minutes every day instead of 4 hours in one, not only allows you to release the pressure you have on yourself, but it also ensures a little improvement every day.
And don’t forget to have fun. Learning skills doesn’t have to be arduous. You can learn things AND have fun at the same time. By keeping musical an enjoyable activity, you’re more likely to practice and continue to grow as a musician.
If you’re interested in starting music lessons, please feel free to call us at 301-365-5888 for more information or to schedule you an introductory lesson. You can also contact us at https://www.ismw.org/contact-us/
We love meeting new students, and would love to help you reach your 2021 goals!